The gold mining organisation San Juan de Dios de Pampa Blanca

Peru is one of the most important gold producing countries in the world. Besides the large international mining companies, there are many smaller mines that represent the majority of the gold mining workforce. One of them is the cooperative Minera San Juan de Dios de Pampa Blanca in Ananea in the southern Peruvian region of Puno. It is one of the ten cooperatives that together form the umbrella organisation CECOMSAP - Central de Cooperativas Mineras San Antonio de Poto.


Country: Peru

Fairtrade certified in: 2015

Main products: Gold and precious metals

Projects using Fairtrade Premium

Organisation and productivity:

  • Purchase of equipment for the gold foundry to produce and export gold dorés. The gold foundry is a furnace to melt the accumulated gold into small bars.

Workers and working conditions:

  • Purchase of protective clothing for the workers
  • Construction of infrastructure for the miners' resident facilities. This improves the living conditions and safety of miners, administrative staff and guests.
  • Funding Covid 19 prevention equipment such as disinfectants or protective gear to protect local health care from Covid 19.
  • Further training of staff through the cooperative system.


  • Installation of a sludge pumping system to reduce pollution.
  • Closure of old sludge settling ponds for pollution control and renaturalisation
  • Replanting of embankments
  • Development of a new environmental management strategy with specialists

Social projects:

  • Christmas presents for the children in Ananea
  • Social support for mining community members to increase the overall livelihood of the mines and surrounding communities. This helps to strengthen institutional relationships with the surrounding communities.

About the cooperative

The people of Ananea have traditionally made their living from alpaca breeding and wool production. Although this work is an important part of their identity, it did not offer these people sufficient economic prospects. Therefore, the inhabitants of Ananea found an alternative activity in gold mining to overcome their poverty.

The beginning of the operations of the Cooperativa Minera San Juan de Dios de Pampa Blanca was characterised by informality and the absence of any heavy machinery. Thanks to growing income and with the support of their umbrella organisation CECOMSAP, the miners were able to overcome the process of formalisation. CECOMSAP also organises exports.